Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy AND fun fundraising...yes, it's possible!

Hi there! I am another guest blogger along with Erin and am here to let you in on a fund raising event that has been a success for me the past two years and is a cinch to pull off. 

First, who am I? I'm Amy, I work with Crystal and have known her for 4 years now. I guess being one of the youngsters in our office, it was natural that we connected and became friends. I really lucked up,too. Crystal is wonderful! I really admired her when she did her first walk in 2008 and after hearing about it, seeing pictures and researching the Susan G. Komen foundation I took the plunge in 2010 and had the time of my life raising money to hopefully one day get rid of breast cancer for good. I'm excited about walking again with her in 2011! And my reason for going pink? Because I have no reason not to, simple as that. I do not have a direct connection at this time, but know handfuls of people who have. I am a woman, I have breasts, therefore, I walk! 

Crystal and I at the 2011 Atlanta Race for the Cure

Fundraising comes easy to some people. They have scores of people who donate generous amounts of money time after time and that $2,300 minimum is nothing. I'm not one of those people. I do have my donors who graciously donated, but not in high amounts(high amount being $100 or more per individual). And, that is perfectly fine, there is nothing wrong with that. The economy is down so people can't donate to things as they'd like so if we're going to commit to $2,300 then we need to get creative about how we raise the money. 

And, we shouldn't be dumping high amounts of money into events to raise money either. Why not use it to donate to ourselves if we're spending extravagant amounts? That would only be productive if we got back what we spent plus A LOT more. And, again, I'm not one of these people. And, again, not a problem!

And that is why I have had two Pampered Chef parties to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! I'm assuming most of you know are familiar with the brand and how it works. It's like Avon or Mary Kay, except it's high quality cooking/baking products. Check out My Party Page to check out the products and to order(my party closes Friday May 27).

My aunt and cousin in-law attended a party last year and realized I could host an event and receive a percentage of the total sales as a donation instead of hostess benefits. They connected me with my consultant and shortly after I had a party and earned around $200 AND the consultant donated items to the yard sale I held as a fundraiser. So, two birds with one stone, not bad! 

The thing about these parties is that I am usually a very busy person and the planning for this event is minimal. All I did was choose a date, choose a menu and send some invites. And, I spent next to nothing to host it. I did buy the ingredients to make dinner and dessert, but that's money I'd be spending anyway for food. And, it was simple ingredients. A lot of things you would probably already have. So, who could pass up a party when you get served dinner? You can also get a little fancy and do a theme. For me, it was fitting to have a pink lava cake for dessert(which was cooked using Pampered Chef products) and I hosted the party in May which is one of Pampered Chef's cancer awareness months and they feature pink products! And, a lot of my guests wore pink. But, the possibilities are endless. You could serve pink drinks, pink snacks, decorate your kitchen in pink, etc. etc. to really set the mood. It's very important you let people know that this is a fundraising event and you aren't getting regular hostess benefits(even though, your consultant may offer you some discounts on certain items). Some people are more inclined to buy products knowing that they are also contributing to a good cause. 

Also, you can also spend NOTHING to earn money. You can just have a catalog party. A catalog party is just that, you pass out catalogs and people just order that way. However, having the party is more fun. 

Another important thing to consider is asking the consultant if she can write the check directly to you. This way if you can get the money matched, then that $200 is $400. Some consultants may be able to do this, but others may not, you just have to ask and make sure you can get documentation they need. 

Following up and reminding everyone of your party and the amount of time they have to order is essential. Everyone is busy these days, so utilize your mass texting feature on your phone, send a few emails, create an event on Facebook and keep it updated. Also, sending a good old fashion hand-written invitation works as well!

Something else to consider if you have the time to commit would be to actually become a Pampered Chef consultant. This way you'd be earning your money yourself.

Finding a consultant is easy. If you visit the Pampered Chef website you can pull up a list of consultants in your area if you don't already know one or know someone who knows one. And, remember, the consultants may also be willing to donate a little extra money with the percentage you get from the total sales you do or they may help out in some other way(example, mine donated items for the yard sale). So, ask these things. Ask if they would like to help in any other way or know someone who might. This is just another networking opportunity so take advantage!

And those are my two cents on a fundraising event that anyone can do. It's a fun way to get family, friends(new and old) together to have dinner and desserts and to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Til next time!

-Amy Hodges
2011 Atlanta 3-Day Walker

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